Saturday, 27 July 2013

Framing Film - Pete Walton - Interview Part 2

Hey guys - sorry for the delay - here is the next in our series of 'Framing Film'. The first part of the interview can be found here.

This is the second half of our interview with the brilliant Pete Walton - links below as usual.


FI:     Just like us, you interview/contribute/write about filmmaking on – what has inspired you so much to get into the indie film community?

PW: I learned a lot of things from making the movie that I wish I’d known beforehand, and wanted to share them. Also, a problem for most indie filmmakers is publicity so I started Indie Sonar as a means of giving it to them in return for them describing their filmmaking experiences and sharing tips from what they’ve learned. Seemingly mundane things like how a director got hold of a camera or found actors I think is of interest and useful to filmmakers out there struggling to get their first film made. I also don’t know many filmmakers in Belgrade where I live so it’s also been a good way to connect with the community on a regular basis.
FI:    How are you find directing actors (or in this case, your second cast member) on this other feature?

PW: It’s been a breeze directing the actors I have to say. This I think is because I was good at casting the right people. I looked for something in their showreels similar to what I wanted, so when they turned up on set, there was actually little directing needed from me for their performance. Everyone was a real pro; turned up and said their lines brilliantly.

FI:      Anything you’ve learned from this feature that you wish you had known before you started?

PW: The cost of feeding a film crew! Seriously, this can break the budget if not properly accounted for and done right. It hit me how much it was costing one day when 7 of us sat down for a coffee break during a shoot in Berlin – the bill was 25 euros! Multiply that over the course of a shoot and the numbers start to get scary. The 5-liter vacuum flask I then bought from eBay literally saved me hundreds.

 FI:  Right, technical questions – what kind of camera have you filmed on so far/what has gone on in the pre-production process/etc?

PW: The movie has been shot so far using the DP, Maciej Kwiecinski’s Sony PMW-EX3. Pre-production for Belgrade involved me videoing locations and sending the link to Maciej. I’d tell him the type of shot I was after and we’d decide if it was doable technically at the location. I’d location scout in some places using Google Street View which I recommend to others as it saves a lot of time and money.

FI:  We read about your audition process – quite an innovative push forward and does save on time/money – but are there any disadvantages to it?

PW: Not really I have to say. Another benefit from having someone audition over Skype or record a YouTube video is you’re getting to see them on camera.

FI:     Top 5 favourite directors of all time?
PW: Spielberg, Hitchcock, Tarantino, Wells, Lean.

FI:   We ask all directors this question – if you could have worked on any other film, in any other role, which one would it have been and why?

PW: For Your Eyes Only as assistant director to John Glen. The Citroen car chase would have offered a master class in directing and editing action sequences. It was the first Bond film I saw in the cinema and I’d watch it incessantly on video – and the car chase had me transfixed and I’d watch it over and over again – the shots, editing, music, Roger Moore’s perpetually raised eyebrow – perfect! I think Eon would be great employers as they seem to look after and reuse the same crew who have done a good job for them. I like how John Glen progressed through the ranks of the ‘Bond family’ from editor and second unit director on Her Majesty’s Secret Service to finally being given the reigns to direct 5 Bond films in the 80s. I’d like to do my own Bond film someday - I’ve already got the story mapped out in my head..

FI:      Our favourite reader question; your favourite film(s)?

PW: The Empire Strikes Back, The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Memento, Pulp Fiction, From Russia With Love

FI:     How is it on set so far? Does all the travelling really impact the film and the crew?

PW: It’s been fine on set most of the time. The travelling itself hasn’t been a problem – I think the other guys who’ve travelled - David Masterson, Stephen M. Gilbert and Maciej - have looked at it as an adventure to some extent. However, I could have made it a little easier on everyone at times with a bigger crew and better catering, plus I was on some days juggling day job with shooting which impacted the schedule on a couple of occasions.

FI:    You must ‘wear a few hats’ so to speak on set – what other roles do you perform other than acting/directing when on set?

PW: I do most of the mundane things too like make coffee and packed lunches, and also book travel and accommodation. I’ve held the boom or reflector on a couple of occasions too.

FI:   How much have you learned through this process?

PW: A hell of a lot. The main thing is that you can make an international movie on a shoestring budget.

FI:    Despite any trials and tribulations, would you go through it all again?

PW: Yes I would, but with a bit more financing to make things more comfortable.

FI:    And finally – if you were to just give a quick pitch to anyone who hasn’t seen the video/the page – what would you say to them to get them to back your project?

PW: I’m a strong believer that a movie should be able to speak for itself, so I think I’d simply say: watch the clip from the movie I’ve added to the page – if it makes you laugh then I’d love you to be a part of helping me finish it!


Link to Pete's Twitter.
Link to Pete's film's Twitter

And finally - Pete's Crowdfunding Page.

As usual guys, any shares/reads/recommends that we get, we thoroughly enjoy. Not just for us - we focus on indepedent films - it helps get the word out about great projects and filmmakers that can use a bit of help to finish their films or to gain more exposure for them. We hope you enjoy/find the interviews useful and we love our readers. We really do - we'd be nothing without you guys!

Even if you can't donate, do remember that every time you share this article with another filmmaker/fan of film - we can help gain another person a little bit more traction and exposure that gets them one step closer to realising their dream. 

It also helps us greatly obviously - and hopefully it gives a bit of insight into the trials and tribulations of first time filmmakers!

We would like to thank Pete Walton for joining us, and we hope you guys help him get closer to that finish line so he can get this movie finished!

More Framing Film interviews are lined up and should be appearing on this very blog over the next few weeks - we've loved having everyone on so far as they've all been brilliant. If you haven't read any of the other interviews, we'd highly recommend them.

But remember, you didn't hear any of this from us,

Ferenc and Georgia

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